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Why Has My Waterman Suddenly Started To Skip?

nib waterman skip inkflow

45 replies to this topic

#1 lordfkiller

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 00:11

My Waterman fountain pen started skipping the beginning of each word a few days ago out of nowhere. The colour it writes has also become clearly lighter (same ink and paper), so the ink flow must be disturbed.

 

I have tried flossing the nib with 0.001 brass shim. I also removed, washed and soaked over night the feed, all to no avail. I'm not sure if it would make sense to floss with 0.002 brass shim, since the pen was wet to begin with. 

 

EDIT: I've read about "baby's bottom". But can a pen that is fine out-of-the-box develop that problem?


Edited by lordfkiller, 06 November 2016 - 00:40.


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#2 jar

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 01:11

The pen did not develop baby bottom.  The most likely cause of your problem is messing with the pen, messing with shims, removing feeds, heavy hand, or some other operator error.


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#3 lordfkiller

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 01:31

The pen did not develop baby bottom.  The most likely cause of your problem is messing with the pen, messing with shims, removing feeds, heavy hand, or some other operator error.

I did all the messing (flossing, removing the feed) after, and because, it started skipping. Heavy hand, I don't think so. I'm not sure about other operator errors.



#4 LizEF

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 02:33

When solving software problems, the question is always, "what changed?"  So, that would be the question here.  It's highly unlikely the nib changed (before the flossing), unless you've been writing on unusual surfaces. ;)  It's highly unlikely the structure of the pen changed (nib, feed, converter/cartridge, body, etc.).  So, what sorts of things are likely:

 

  • Ink change (either through you refilling, or using it up, or through evaporation)
  • connections going loose (e.g. if the pen were jostled and the cartridge / converter came loose; nib and feed seem unlikely to be susceptible to this; without knowing your pen, I couldn't guess at other connections, but cartridge / converter seems most likely)
  • Air bubble? There's been an interesting, recent discussion somewhere on here, with drawings from fountainbel, about how air builds up in a particular spot in the feed of cartridge / converter pens, and this can cause something like skipping...
  • Clogged feed (probably only a possibility if you're using a particulate ink, or have in the past, and it's accumulated without proper / full cleaning - recently or in the past)

Those seem most likely to me.  Perhaps someone else with more experience can help you narrow it down.  I would recommend against any further tinkering that could alter the nib physically.



#5 Old Salt

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 03:16

How long have you been writing with the pen? The symptoms you describe, lighter color ink line, skipping on the first stroke sound like an inkflow issue, not anything having to do with the tines. Did you change from cartridge to a new converter by any chance? Could be a surface tension issue.
When you flushed, did you flush the converter also? Did you run the flush solution through the section and nib from both ends?
I don't recommend you messing with the nib. I have worked on hundreds of nibs. The only nib I Am reluctant to mess with is the expert. That's because I've ruined more than my share. They are very touchy to gap. There is little spring in the metal of the nib. Just a touch too much and you have spring the nib. No matter what you do after that, the pen will never write well again.
In my case I like the experts so much that I went on eBay and bought a replacement section and nib. They are not cheap.
If you are hell bent on tinkering, let me say that the nib and feed are friction fit. You can pull them straight, don't twist. I say this only to allow a good cleaning.
Try all that and get back to us.

#6 lordfkiller

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 03:43

When solving software problems, the question is always, "what changed?"  So, that would be the question here.  It's highly unlikely the nib changed (before the flossing), unless you've been writing on unusual surfaces. ;)  It's highly unlikely the structure of the pen changed (nib, feed, converter/cartridge, body, etc.).  So, what sorts of things are likely:

 

  • Ink change (either through you refilling, or using it up, or through evaporation)
  • connections going loose (e.g. if the pen were jostled and the cartridge / converter came loose; nib and feed seem unlikely to be susceptible to this; without knowing your pen, I couldn't guess at other connections, but cartridge / converter seems most likely)
  • Air bubble? There's been an interesting, recent discussion somewhere on here, with drawings from fountainbel, about how air builds up in a particular spot in the feed of cartridge / converter pens, and this can cause something like skipping...
  • Clogged feed (probably only a possibility if you're using a particulate ink, or have in the past, and it's accumulated without proper / full cleaning - recently or in the past)

Those seem most likely to me.  Perhaps someone else with more experience can help you narrow it down.  I would recommend against any further tinkering that could alter the nib physically.

That's why this is so baffling. NOTHING has changed. Same ink, same converter. I have changed the ink several times.



#7 lordfkiller

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 03:47

How long have you been writing with the pen? The symptoms you describe, lighter color ink line, skipping on the first stroke sound like an inkflow issue, not anything having to do with the tines. Did you change from cartridge to a new converter by any chance? Could be a surface tension issue.
When you flushed, did you flush the converter also? Did you run the flush solution through the section and nib from both ends?
I don't recommend you messing with the nib. I have worked on hundreds of nibs. The only nib I Am reluctant to mess with is the expert. That's because I've ruined more than my share. They are very touchy to gap. There is little spring in the metal of the nib. Just a touch too much and you have spring the nib. No matter what you do after that, the pen will never write well again.
In my case I like the experts so much that I went on eBay and bought a replacement section and nib. They are not cheap.
If you are hell bent on tinkering, let me say that the nib and feed are friction fit. You can pull them straight, don't twist. I say this only to allow a good cleaning.
Try all that and get back to us.

I've been using it for a few months only. I'm using the same converter. I have another one that I could try?

I flushed the converter too, yes. I flushed from both ends. I have an improvised cleaning thing (syringe connected to empty cartridge). Actually, I remember it improved a little bit when I reverse flushed (drawing water through the pen using the syringe).

This is a Perspective, not an Expert. But I think I'm not going to mess with the nib more than this. It is still under warranty and I don't want to void that by ruining the nib.



#8 Old Salt

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 05:21

Be a shame to have to start all over again with a new pen. I like to soak all day in pen flush if things are really blocked up. Then after everything is softened up, I blow it out using the same flush and my modified ear syringes. They are cheap. You can buy them from Goulet or your local drug store. They use them on babies. The size I've cut these three allows me to get into the back end of a section, fit over the front, covering the nib and section, the middle size fits perfectly over a pelikan nib unit. I've used them on everything from Montblanc to Jinhao, they work great.
I'm going to go out on a limb here. Wondering aloud if you don't have an ink interaction going on. Not all inks are compatable. Sometimes changing to what is normally a perfectly good ink can cause the symptoms you are having. It's my personal belief that some feeds especially ebony will absorb some ink into the material. You may have cleaned the ink channels, but there is still stuff imbedded in the feed material itself. I've seen several older threads where people talk about seasoning the feed of a new pen with Waterman Florida Blue.
I recommend soaking in a 1:10 solution of water and no suds Amonia, with just a couple drops of plain dawn dish soup.(without fancy additives, like antibacterial)Soak it all day or night, then blow it out with the ear syringes full of the flush solution. Repeat the process over again until you get a free flow of liquid through the nib and section. Also hold the nib under a water faucet with a slow steady stream of water. Let the water hit the ink groove and breather hole on top then turn it over. Let the water gently hit the feed, but especially the "wings" of the metal nib so that the water gets up in between the feed and nib. You're trying to get any dried ink or crystaline material that can result from inks that don't play well together. You don't need a lot of pressure for this, and make sure you have the strainer In the sink drain. If you drop that nib by mistake, I guarantee it is going down the drain.
I would also try dipping the top of a tooth pick in dish soap and pushing it up into the converter full of ink. Swish it around, and pull out. Won't hurt the pen, but if you are having a surface tension issue, it may solve it.
I've thrown some ideas out here. If something rings true to you, give it a try and let us know. We are all learning through you now.
Hope this all helps.
I apologize for any weird words. I think I caught them all. My iPad is making up words again..agghhhh!!

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#9 lordfkiller

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 12:05

Thank you very much for your help.

 

Re the bulb syringe that you use, I have made something else that serves a similar function. Photo attached. Do you think a bulb syringe would work better? This can't be used to push in water from the front, but I can reverse flush by drawing water through the nib with the same device.

 

Should I soak the whole section, or remove the feed and soak it?

 

Also, it can't be an ink interaction problem. The only ink I've used in this pen is Waterman. I used to use Serenity Blue, but I've been using Mysterious Blue for quite a while now. Even the bottle hasn't changed.

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Edited by lordfkiller, 07 November 2016 - 09:38.


#10 jar

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 12:16

When you notice the color getting lighter stop, gently open the pen and take a look at the converter.  See if there is an air bubble stuck at the nib end.

 

On skips, also try to determine specifics.  Are the skip directional?  Are you rotating the nib on the paper slightly?  Are you "wrist" writing?


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#11 lordfkiller

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 04:47

When you notice the color getting lighter stop, gently open the pen and take a look at the converter.  See if there is an air bubble stuck at the nib end.

 

On skips, also try to determine specifics.  Are the skip directional?  Are you rotating the nib on the paper slightly?  Are you "wrist" writing?

No, no air bubbles. The skips don't seem to be directional. I'm not rotating the nib. I'm not sure what wrist writing means, but as far as I can tell I'm not moving my wrist - only my arm.

 

I think the ink flow has definitely improved after washing and flushing the feed several times. Perhaps I'll try flushing and reverse flushing it once more and see what happens. If that doesn't work, I'm going to try soaking in and flushing with 1:10 ammonia solution. Is this what I should buy? http://shop.coles.co...-ammonia-cloudy

 

EDIT 1: It's still a mystery why this pen should get so clogged!

EDIT 2: Attached missing picture of my improvised cleaning device to my previous post.


Edited by lordfkiller, 07 November 2016 - 09:39.


#12 Jamerelbe

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 10:21

No, no air bubbles. The skips don't seem to be directional. I'm not rotating the nib. I'm not sure what wrist writing means, but as far as I can tell I'm not moving my wrist - only my arm.

 

I think the ink flow has definitely improved after washing and flushing the feed several times. Perhaps I'll try flushing and reverse flushing it once more and see what happens. If that doesn't work, I'm going to try soaking in and flushing with 1:10 ammonia solution. Is this what I should buy? http://shop.coles.co...-ammonia-cloudy

 

EDIT 1: It's still a mystery why this pen should get so clogged!

EDIT 2: Attached missing picture of my improvised cleaning device to my previous post.

 

Most pen flush solution 'recipes' advocate using clear ammonia, not cloudy - but I haven't been able to find that in Australian stores (maybe a prohibited substance, because of nefarious uses it can be put to?).  Cloudy ammonia just has a bit of detergent mixed in, though, and I've found that it works fine for me - in fact, I bought the exact same Coles 1L bottle you've linked to! 



#13 Old Salt

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 18:50

Sounds like you're on the right track now. I'm encouraged to hear that the pen is writing better. Once you get it all cleaned and flushed, I hope your pen is back to normal for you.
I think back flushing is important. But if you have the nib and feed out already, then I'd soak the nib, feed, and section in your pen flush solution. After a good soak find a bulb syringe or similar, and blow the flush fluid through everything. That is a pretty complete cleaning, and should do it for you.

#14 Old Salt

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 19:21

Just a wild thought: is there any sediment on the bottle of ink? I'm guessing the problems started when you switched to mysterious blue. Could be the ink? The two inks that you have used are the most low maintenance, safe inks out there. So a lot of this strange. Bad bottles of ink do happen.
After you get it all cleaned and put back together you might consider going back to the first ink you used before the problems started. Then if all is good, plot your course from there as far as changing to another ink.
We'll be here in the cheering section.
Here's another trick to lube your converter after all this cleaning, if you can't get it apart.

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#15 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 00:18

I think you can get more force of water with a properly fitted rubber bulb syringe.....and it IMO don't hurt at first to both blow and suck water with the bulb syringe through your nib and section.

 

 

If you were just cleaning eventually, you'd just want to use fresh water....and flick it like a thermometer in a paper towel and put it aside for a night....if there was no problem.

 

Do you have a sonic bath or know any one with one.....dumping the nib and section into one could help.

 

:doh: :headsmack: Me with so many piston pens....and never a thought to silicon grease a converter. :wallbash:

 

Somewhere some folks get little plastic balls that fit into a converter and float on top of the ink, breaking up surface tension. Steel balls can fall and block the channel....and would have to rotate the pen to get it to go up to the top to break the surface tension.

I don't know what sort of spring....some put in to do that trick....I have Piston pens that seem wide enough that don't happen.

But there are other converter folks here that can guide you.

 

 

Did you try a cartridge?...you can load a cartridge if you are empty with your needle syringe, and it will work the same....no problems like a converter can have. It is often recommended. If I missed that recommendation....oh well. :happyberet:


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#16 SenZen

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 03:22

The one time I had a similar issue was with a Lamy Vista and J Herbin Rouge Hematite, aka ClogZilla; after many frustrating attempts I saw that nib had two sort of rails, which were clogegd with ink gunk; after I dislodged that all was well with the world again. So try to see that nib in good light, and look for petrified ink.


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#17 Pickwick

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 04:54

My Waterman fountain pen started skipping the beginning of each word a few days ago out of nowhere. The colour it writes has also become clearly lighter (same ink and paper), so the ink flow must be disturbed.

 

I have tried flossing the nib with 0.001 brass shim. I also removed, washed and soaked over night the feed, all to no avail. I'm not sure if it would make sense to floss with 0.002 brass shim, since the pen was wet to begin with. 

 

EDIT: I've read about "baby's bottom". But can a pen that is fine out-of-the-box develop that problem?

 

Have you ensured the nib is in true alignment with the feed when you replaced it?


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#18 Force

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 05:14

You state you soaked the feed.

 

Do you mean you soaked the whole section or that you physically pulled the nib and feed from the grip.



#19 lordfkiller

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 00:28

 

Have you ensured the nib is in true alignment with the feed when you replaced it?

Yes. Besides, it didn't get any worse after that. So...



#20 lordfkiller

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 00:32

You state you soaked the feed.

 

Do you mean you soaked the whole section or that you physically pulled the nib and feed from the grip.

I removed the feed and the nib. I didn't soak the section. Since the next step seems to be soaking in ammonia solution, should I pull the feed and nib again? And if yes, is it necessary to soak the section too?





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